By Nirbhao Atma Kaur
Starting at five years-old, whether or not I enjoyed it, every week I’d sit down for a piano lesson. The teacher was a sweet woman who had a lot of patience for small, sensitive me. Despite my child-like attitude, each week I continued to get better and better at the piano. I entered contests and played at talent shows.
Soon, I was old enough to choose not to play anymore. My parents supported my decision as I moved on to play guitar, trombone, and then flute.
When I entered high school, the social pressures to fit in overpowered my love of playing music. So, for about six years I stopped playing consistently. I did not understand how the power of playing music impacted my life until I was in my twenties. One day, I saw a used flute at a music store while traveling in California. The guy gave me a great deal on it and I reinvested in a long-lost love.
When I began to teach Kundalini Yoga, playing the flute became a part of my class. Whether it was during relaxation or interwoven throughout each exercise, I always received compliments as the sounds reverberated throughout the room. It was almost as if an overwhelming sense of peace came over each person who heard it. I got comments like, “I felt like I was flying.” Or “When you played, there was this warm, healing energy that came over me.”
When I played, I entered a place of complete surrender. I knew the instrument well enough to allow myself to be guided by something higher. With a mantra in my head and little effort, the tune swept across the room. Playing this magical instrument for others, I developed a relationship with inner peace.
Playing music is comparable to any hobby or activity that can bring a sense of peace. For my Aunt, it is wood turning. For my partner, it is wire-wrapping jewelry and playing his guitar. Peace is always in us, it is never lost. It is there for us to access at any moment. Sometimes, it takes a tool like music to connect with peace. Other times, it takes a simple meditation on the breath.
Yogi Bhajan said,
“Live well in your inner peace, in your inner strength. And when you feel weak, call on your soul, your friend. To start, sit down, and breathe one breath per minute.* In exactly thirty seconds your soul will start communicating with you.”
When we feel disconnected from ourselves, the way to connect isn’t to find a distraction. In today’s culture, relaxation and peace is interpreted as sitting in front of a television and watching TV for hours. This is not the peace I am talking about. I am not speaking of being overstimulated.
The way we can connect with our inner guidance and peace is by creating a practice—doing something that brings harmony. Yogi Bhajan said:
“My request to you is, do not let your calmness go. Do not let your peace of mind go. Be with the Guru through this time. Your spirit shall be content. The majority of the world is living in a terrible fear. Nobody knows what is happening. There's too much information available to process. Just feel, within yourself, content and satisfied, peaceful and unique.”
During any time in your life, Kundalini Yoga technology is there for you to choose peace. Here is the mantra I repeat mentally while I play the flute. It is a mantra for healing, harmony and happiness.
May the sounds you create help you vibrate your truth and the peace in your mind, body and spirit.
In 2010, Nirbho Atma Kaur’s (Melissa Baker) life changed when she had scoliosis surgery, where two titanium rods were placed aligning her spine. Since then, she has fully embraced and cared for her body through an active life. She is a Kundalini Yoga teacher who is passionate about teaching young adults and diverse cultures how to access and connect to their inner truth through Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda.
She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher. Nirbho Atma learned Kundalini Yoga at an Ashram in Israel. She has developed personal practices of Kundalini Yoga, and Hatha Yoga, and her creative expression of writing and music. She teaches transformational workshops, retreats, children's classes, and online. Outside of yoga, Melissa loves to experience travel adventures, play tennis, be in nature, cook nourishing food from local markets, and simply be around loving people.